• Editorial Team


Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Good day, everyone! I was just wondering what you look for in your heavy equipment operator. What makes them something out of the bag? These questions drove me to be writing this post in a hope that for those who are concerned about, they can be well-versed about top attributes that their good construction machinery must have.

Still, before hitting to the point, I am going to tell a little about this kind of job.

A glance at heavy equipment operator jobs in Kenya are

The term ''heavy equipment operator ” has to do with a broad range of professionals – from forklift driver to long-haul truck driver. Still, most of the time, it specifically refers to a person that operates one of some types of heavy equipment often found on construction sites such as road work or construction of buildings and industrial zones within various industries. The most basic equipment can be listed as:

• Backhoes

• Excavators

• Scrapers

• Graders

• Bulldozers

• Mobile cranes

• Wheel loaders of various types

Again, these are most basic types of heavy equipment you will find on most construction sites and many industrial zones. A heavy equipment operator is the one trained to operate such equipment and has proper certification to do so. If you need such operators, you can contact Build Worth Africa. We are a reputable company who offer the best construction machinery operators at the friendliest rates.

Qualities of good heavy equipment operators(excavators, motor graders)

When it comes to construction sites, the first thing people think of is big machines picking up and moving large girders and other objects. Each of these machines is run by a heavy equipment operator. These operators are specially trained ones who can not just work on one kind of machine, but multiple other machines on the site. Each of them has gone through extensive training to sit in that seat. And they are required to have those qualities to become successful heavy equipment operators.

1. A love of the outdoors

Working outside in various weather conditions is part of the job. While most heavy equipment comes with weatherproof cabs, there are still lots of machines with open cabs. With a genuine love of the outdoors, such things don’t matter a lot.

2. Natural aptitude for operating machines

The really good operators use all his/her God given senses. They can smell oil and coolant leaks, even hot engine or brakes; they can see oil trails on the ground, notice cracks and unusual metal flake around pins, bushes, track chains; they can hear any abnormal noises; they can feel any abnormal vibrations. An operator with this criteria is able to find construction jobs in Kenya easily

3. Sense of balance

This is what developed over time. The sense of balance tells the operator the ground conditions under his tracks. To hone this skill, the operator should remember what he felt, then back up far enough to see where he was, visualize the changes he will make before proceeding. All this happens really fast and becomes second nature. Its quite impressive if you think about it

4. Hand-eye coordination

The ability to use hands and eyes to move large pieces of metal and other items to correct places is essential for the profession. For example, a crane operator must use a series of hydraulic joints or wires to point the crane claw correctly over the to-be-moved item, pick it up and move it to the desired spot, then drop it. This requires good hand-eye coordination skill to avoid any damage to not only the crane but also the site and fellow workers.

5. Being knowledgeable about the equipment

They should know about operating all basic equipment. Above all, they should be well versed about the equipment they are operating (eg. to maintain/ service their equipment).

6. Machine ownership

The operators should develop ownership of their equipment, treating the machine as if they were making the payments on it and assuring the heavy equipment(excavator) operates properly every day. Also, they can properly choose the most efficient construction equipment to do the job for example between a motor grader or bulldozer which is best. They understand the limits and capabilities of the machine they are expected to operate power base of a wheel loader can not compare to an excavator. And they can coordinate several machines working together.

7. Attention to detail

The machine operators need have good attention to detail for cleaning cabs such as bursting drainage or debris and making sure everything looks perfectly clean for safety. They need record various amounts of data throughout the day, which helps with running the construction site. They need be able to know when something isn’t feeling right, and have minor repairs before they become something larger. They have one of most important jobs on the site. Without a keen attention to detail, they could end up costing the corporate money or delaying the project progression.

8. Communication skills

In many cases, the rest of construction crew depends on heavy machinery operator to finish his job before they can begin their jobs. The operator needs to make sure the crews are where they’re supposed to be and ready for him. He may have to deal with impatient or stubborn people in the construction site. Because heavy machine operators have to handle different types of people, adequate communication would be their invaluable asset.

9. Willingness to get hands dirty

The kind of person that insists on clean hands 24/7 may not suit to this type of work. The machine operators may not get their hands as dirty and greasy as motor mechanics, but there is still some dirt involved.

10. Patience

Perhaps this is the most important attribute. If a pile of dirt needs to be moved, there is right and wrong way to do it. You can not rush the job, it needs doing slowly and methodically.

11. Ability to train less-experienced operator

Not just honing their skills, more experienced operators should help train less-experienced ones. That not only helps improve competencies of other operators but also is an effective way for the more experienced operators to reflect their knowledge and better their skills aside from developing their leadership skills.

Also, good heavy machine operators are those with:

1. Ability to calculate basic cuts and fills

2. Ability to read prints/plans, grade stakes

3. Good understanding of basic principles of soil compaction and skills to achieve it

4. Understanding the importance of proper drainage of the jobsite

5. Good working relationship with those they work with

6. Showing up to work on time

7. Knowing their limitations and skill level

8. Trying to excel at the skills

9. Not letting their pride keep them from asking questions

Read more at Build Worth Africa